Distance no barrier for WA beef enthusiasts

Published 26 April 2024

Media Release

Distance is no barrier for enthusiastic cattle producers keen to see all that Beef2024 has to offer, and Denyss and Harry Alers have the added excitement of seeing their Romagnola bulls parade at Rockhampton Showgrounds for the first time.

Already, the Alers have secured the title of ‘Exhibitors travelling the greatest distance to Beef2024’. Rockhampton is 4,458km from their home overlooking the Indian Ocean at Dunsborough, in the picturesque southwest corner of Western Australia.

Rather than take a four-day road trip across the Nullarbor, Denyss and Harry will drive three hours north to Perth and fly to Brisbane before making their way up the coast. The two bulls from their Quinbrook Stud that will be exhibited have been in Central Queensland since early this year, being prepared for showing.

In total, 1,550 stud cattle from 335 stud exhibitors will descend on Rockhampton for Beef2024, in addition to 78 steers. In the commercial section, 1,000 grainfed and 778 grassfed will compete for titles. Meanwhile, 4,000 cubic metres of sawdust will be used for bedding to keep livestock comfortable throughout the event.

A former president of the Romagnola Breeders Society, Denyss has been to Beef Australia events twice before, but thinks her husband will be ‘blown away’ by his first visit in 2024.

“I first went to Beef 97 and that was a big decision as Rockhampton is so far from here, but I was amazed by it! Just to see the cattle, the numbers, the different breeds and everything to do with the industry, from technology to transport, it grows every time I go there,” Denyss said.

“They held the Italian Beef Cattle World Congress at the same time as Beef 97 and that was a really big learning curve for me. I heard from Italian breeders about how they select and promote the breed in Italy.

“I came home and told Harry ‘If we’re going to get serious, we need to invest in quality bloodlines’.”

The Alers were artificial breeding technicians with the Department of Agriculture and Food in WA prior to moving to the family farm in the 1990s, where they produce milk fed vealers from European bulls over Friesian cross cows.

They registered the Quinbrook Romagnola stud and now run 100 stud females, selling between 10 and 20 bulls a year, as well as trialling Angus and Senepol bulls over Romagnola females for their commercial herd of 200 breeders.

The Alers were fortunate to secure some straws from Ergum, one of the breed’s most noted sires, and bred a son, Quinbrook Manso. It’s his descendants that they are showing at Beef2024, at the encouragement of some fellow breeders.

“I’m very green and had never haltered an animal before, so it was a challenge. I take my hat off to those professionals who show cattle!” Denyss said.

She’s looking forward to being ‘immersed’ in everything beef and seeing how the breed compares with others – as well as watching Harry’s reaction.

“I think he’ll feel very humbled by what is out there. I don’t think there’s any other place you can see cattle in such quality and numbers, and we’re really looking forward to going to Gracemere selling complex to see one of the country’s biggest offerings of commercial cattle.”

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